Apprenticeship Application


The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices represents approximately 355,000 Plumbers, Pipefitters, Sprinkler Fitters, HVACR Technicians, Welders, and Pipeliners in the construction industry across the United States and Canada.

United Association Local 342 trains and represents; Journeymen and Apprentice Plumbers, Steamfitter/Pipefitters, Welders, and HVACR Technicians in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

Plumbers – Local 342 represents and trains both New Construction and Service Plumbers. New Construction Plumbers fabricate and install new piping that is found under the floors, in the ceilings, attics/rooftops, and inside the walls. This includes hot and cold-water systems, sanitary sewer piping, natural gas lines, storm drain piping, and medical gases found in hospitals and labs. These systems are installed in high-rise buildings, offices, apartments, condos, schools, and homes.

Service Plumbers – Service homes and buildings after they are built, and the owner has moved in. Service Plumbers maintain, repair, and service the building’s plumbing systems, including piping, faucets, toilets, water heaters, and drains.

Steamfitter/Pipefitters – Steamfitter/Pipefitters work on what is referred to as Process Piping. Process Piping is piping that is installed as part of the process of making a product. Products such as beverages (Sodas), pharmaceuticals (medicine), Hot and Chilled water heating/cooling systems (water and steam for radiators), oil, and gasoline. Steamfitter/Pipefitters install, maintain, repair, and service the miles of piping that are used at numerous local oil refineries.

Welders – Welders weld piping and supports for various types of piping. They weld natural gas piping, water, steam, pharmaceutical, oil, and gasoline piping just to name a few. They weld many varieties of pipe as well, from carbon steel, stainless steel, and exotic alloys.  Welding is a very difficult trade; it takes dedication, thousands of hours of practice, and great hand-eye coordination.

HVACR Service Technician – HVACR stands for Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning, and Refrigeration. These Technicians install, repair, and troubleshoot all types of systems and equipment. Like refrigeration cases, air handlers, air conditioning equipment, chillers, furnaces, and boilers. These are systems in our businesses, offices, and homes, that keep perishable products safe and people comfortable day in and day out.

The UA Local 342 Apprenticeship is a 5-year Apprenticeship Program, training Apprentices in their chosen trade (Plumber, Welder, Steamfitter/Pipefitter, HVACR Technician). This program consists of 1080 hours of in-class instruction at the Training Center and 9000 hours of on-the-job training. For a total of 10,080 of training in your chosen trade. This is an earn-as-you-learn program. One of the many great aspects of that means that during your on-the-job training portion of your training, you will be paid your apprentice wage, while also learning your craft. The Program is also scholarship based, so there are no student loans or debts to pay back when you have completed the program.

While you are an Apprentice in the 5-year Program, the first 2 years you will attend day school once every other week for the semesters. When you start your 3rd year you will transition to evening classes 6-9pm for each following semester. You will attend 2-3 evening classes per week after work for the remainder of your 5-year apprenticeship. In addition to nights, some Saturdays will be required for supplemental training or completion exams. Apprentices are not paid for in-class instruction training. Class attendance is MANDATORY they are not optional. To complete the Program, you must complete and pass all your classes (1080 hours). You must also complete 9000 on-the-job training hours. For a total of 10,080 training hours. When you complete the program, you will become a Building Trades Journeyperson in your chosen craft. Building Trades Journeyperson can earn over $145,000 a year, depending on how much they work each year. This is why we like to tell all incoming Apprentices that this is NOT a job, it is a career. This career comes with a comprehensive benefits package, Medical, Dental, Vision, 401a, HRA account, pension, and job placement.

Joining UA Local 342’s apprenticeship program as a Plumber, Steamfitter/Pipefitter, or Welder, is a multi-step process.

  • Step 1 – is submitting your application. Applications are taken once a year currently in the month of May. It is an online application that is done on our website: in the training section. You will need to provide/upload a Driver’s license and High School Diploma, GED, or Transcripts.
  • Step 2 – After you have completed the online application process. You will receive an exam date & time. This exam is in-person given at our Training Center. The exam is generated, administered, and corrected by a 3rd party test provider.  The exam consists of 2-parts, math, and mechanical aptitude. The applicant must have a combined score of 75% to pass the exam.
  • Step 3 – After the exam, you will receive a postcard notifying you of a passing or not passing score. If you passed the exam your postcard will include an interview date & time.
  • Step 4 – Once you have completed your interview, you will be placed on a ranked waiting list. Which is good for 2 years. When the time comes to start a class of new apprentices, we will phone individuals from the waiting list in their ranked order to fill the class.

HVAC/R  Joining UA Local 342 as an HVAC/R Technician is accomplished through Contractor Sponsorship.  Contractor Sponsorship is obtained by seeking and gaining employment and membership with UA Local 342 as a Tradesman by a HVAC/R UA Local 342 Signatory Contractor.  Once you are hired by a Signatory Contractor and have remained employed for one year, the contractor will contact UA Local 342 to sign you up and sponsor you into the HVAC/R Apprenticeship Program.  (To obtain the list of UA Local 342 HVAC/R signatory contractors and for more information on this process, contact the training center)